Have a Healthy Heart? Take this Two Minute Test to Find Out

Want to know if you have a healthy heart?

 Have some stairs? 

It only takes you two minutes or less to find out if you have a healthy heart or not. 

The European Society of Cardiology came up with a test that almost anyone can do at home that is almost as accurate as an expensive cardiology lab, so no need to go to the doctors office and throw on electrodes to see if you have a healthy ticker.

Here is the test, climb 4 flights of stairs in under 90 seconds. 

If you can’t do that, your health is suboptimal and they recommend you go see a doctor.

Here are more details for you.

Doctors took 165 symptomatic patients. They had patients walk or run on a treadmill and measured exercise capacity in metabolic equivalents (METs). They also generated images of the patients’ hearts during exercise.

After 15-20 minutes rest, they had patients climb 4 flights of stairs (60 total stairs). Patients that climbed the stairs in 40-45s generated 9-10 METs.

That’s important because 10 METs generated during exercise has been shown to be 1% or less risk of mortality per year, or less than 10% mortality in 10 years. 

Patients who took longer than 90 seconds generated less than 8 METs, which is linked to

2-4% mortality per year, or 30% mortality in 10 years. 

Now for the imaging, they compared the times to the images generated during the treadmill test.

Only 32% of the patients who completed the stairs in under 45 seconds had heart function abnormalities. 58% of patients who completed the stairs in over 90 seconds had heart function abnormalities. 

The researcher concluded that this would be a good test for the general population, but the mortality risks would be much lower.

What does this mean for you? If you want a quick test to see if you have good cardiovascular health, walk (don’t run) up 60 stairs in under 45 seconds. 

If you complete it in under 90 seconds, that’s okay but you can make improvements.

Over 90 seconds is not good and you should take steps to get back in shape.